TiVo Series 3 Here: $800 retail, $500 cost?

What a month for things! Rhythm Tengoku came out and is amazingly fun. The Sony Ericsson k790a arrived last week, and it is really the phone of the current-future, review coming eventually. And Apple introduces all kinds of interesting iPod stuff (that Shuffle is blowing my mind).

Also today? The TiVo Series 3 HD DVR was released! Combining the already-killer TiVo experience with high-definition HDMI out and dual HDTV CableCARD recording (!), etc. etc. etc., it looks to be the end-all-be-all of DVR's. For now. The only downside?

It's $800 smackers.

Granted, you're getting a heck of a lot of technology for $800, and for early-adopter zombies like myself with credit cards it's a total no-brainer. But it's still $800 in the real world. Well, there's a bit more to the story that you may or may not find interesting, thanks to Best Buy. (Why does this stuff happen to me?)

The Message

So, I asked a Best Buy Guy last night about the Series 3, and he walked me over to their computer terminal, had trouble finding it, and did some kind of search on an internal message board (the screen was titled "RZONE"). Finally, he pulled up and read to me an internal message posted about two weeks ago, when an employee first noticed the Series 3 in the system.

The message (quickly committed by me to a voice memo, thanks k790a!) went almost exactly something like this:
"Did anybody else notice that the TiVo Series 3 popped up in the system? The retail is $800, and the cost is a little over $500... that makes for pretty good attachment!"
Of course, one can only imagine how accurate this information is — maybe Best Buy just does this stuff just to mess with me (HAY GUYS I SAW A SECRET SCREEN THERE IS AN EXCLUSIVE GARFIELD XBOX 360 COMIN OUT WITH HOLOGRAPHIC LASANGEA CAN U BLEIVE). Maybe this guy knows nothin'. But hey, we got nothin' better to go on, so let's talk!

1. If the cost is really "a little over $500", that's seems like good news for those experiencing sticker shock. I don't know a lot about retail, but it seems like that's $300 of wiggle room for future discounts or slashed prices. While I'm sure the Series 3's will stay at $800 for a few months, as us early adopters cry into our CableCARDS, at least we now know that there is lots of room for a price drop.

2. Second, to get retail nerdy: "good attachment"? Please, Best Buy employees, correct me if I'm wrong here (if you can legally do so), but "attachment" generally refers to the amount of profit made adding bonus items to a customer's sale. For every camera sold there are batteries, lenses, etc. to upsell. For every computer there are power strips, keyboards, etc. So, I guess this guy is saying, for every high-definition television sold, there is a potential $300 in "attachment" profit in selling that same customer a TiVo Series 3. (And attachment might equal employee bonus?)

How To Buy

Anyway, for those of you who can blissfully ignore little things like cost in the name of all hot new things, today's your day to buy a TiVo Series 3 now. HDTV awesomeness here we come!

(Oh, and hey, if you buy one, don't forget your old pal when it asks you for a referral name! I might just get some fuzzy TiVo slippers out of the deal. Yeah. Just shameless.)


Psst! Nobody tell him that the new Apple desktop thingee (which may or may not have DVR functionality, who knows?) was announced today with a $300 price tag.
Blogger Scott 9/12/2006 4:38 PM  
Scott: Heh. Yeah, the Apple thing is awfully close to being a dream product. Of course we don't know everything yet about it, but I sincerely doubt it'll ever offer DVR functionality — Apple wants you to buy TV shows from them, not tape them off the air for free. It's just not in their best business interest. Furthermore, without having any storage built in, it means I'm streaming all of my shows from my Powerbook, which I have to leave on, etc. etc. So far, it doesn't sound like the all-in-one killer I'm looking for.

That said, you can bet I'll keep a close eye on it. $300 beats $800 any day of the week. :)
Blogger Cabel 9/12/2006 4:47 PM  
I'm with DirecTV. No Series 3 for me. :-(
Blogger Erik @ The Sand Trap 9/12/2006 5:40 PM  
As far as the attachment stuff goes, the employee is telling his coworkers that they've got $300 of wiggle room for attachments. Cables, warranties, remotes, you name it.

I can't vouch for Best Buy, but at Apple Retail keeping good metrics attachment rates means you don't get disciplined / zoned in ipods / eventually fired.
Anonymous eric 9/12/2006 7:19 PM  
I'm so in for the Holographic Lasagna! FINALLY A PRODUCT FOR MY TASTE!
Anonymous Jona 9/13/2006 10:28 AM  
On with the review of the SE 790a...I am ready to hear your thoughts on it.
Anonymous OrangeBeard 9/13/2006 12:49 PM  
If he was talking about the difference between the cost and the retail price... that's called margin. I am highly confused as to why he said attachment.

I don't work for Best Buy, but I have worked at a couple computer retailers.
Anonymous Anonymous 9/13/2006 2:21 PM  
As much as I'd love to own a Series 3, I just can't justify the cost. $800 is nothing to sneeze at, but that's not all, oh no. Renting TWO cable cards from Time Warner runs about $25 per month in our neck of the woods. How about up there Cabel? Add to this that you lose cable guide functionality, pay-per-view and on demand programming and it all adds up to "I'll pass for now, thanks." I'll be curious to see how you deal with all this when you hook it up and give us our next installment Cabel. Please keep us posted, but for now I give you kudos for being willing to shell out the big bucks for the ease of use of the TiVo UI, cause that and wishlists are about the only reasons I could consider dropping my local TWC boxes for the Series 3.
Anonymous Gedeon 9/16/2006 12:48 PM  
Gedeon: What advantage is there to cable guide functionality over the programming guide supplied by TiVo?
Anonymous Anonymous 9/21/2006 12:07 PM  

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Name:Cabel Maxfield Sasser
Job:Co-Founder, Panic Inc.
Location:Portland, OR